You’re never too young or too mature to start your own grooming regimen and/or beauty routine. The modern man takes care of not only his physical body, logging all those gym hours, but maintaining his aesthetic through proper grooming habits too. Sure you can go to a men’s spa and get “the works” for a special event or for a hot upcoming date with that sexy someone you’ve been texting, but what about grooming as a daily routine? It’s more than pampering yourself, it’s about maintaining a fresh and healthy exterior to enhance your innerbeauty, so to speak.
Gone are the days where men don’t seek to look better, sexier, and fresher. The beauty industry has caught up, too. With many products available specifically for men, the male beauty industry has grown to over a $20 billion global industry.
When I finished working out at a hotel health club in Santo Domingo, recently, I was amazed to see the beauty bars, grooming jars, and primping tubes that completely covered the sink areas. At first I thought that I ventured into the ladies’ area by mistake, there were products and cosmetics everywhere. But then I saw in the reflection of the mirrors, nearly naked beautiful men discussing last night’s baseball game. One of them noticed me standing there with my toiletry bag and shouted, “Sorry buddy, just let me finish with my eye cream, and I’ll be out of your way. I got dark circles so give me a minute!”
The hunk to my other side was putting on foundation or “just toner” as he referred to it when he caught me smiling. Another guy nearby was on his phone talking to his wife. From what I could tell, it seems that she was getting impatient, waiting for him to peel off his cucumber face mask. When a space cleared up for me, I brought out my mini-scissors. I proceeded to try to clip those annoying gray hairs on my scruffy beard. You know the kind that seem to wave hello to everyone but then hide if you go near them with clippers? Yes, times are definitely a-changing folks.
So whether you’re at home, working out in the gym, or in a hotel room, here’s my easy guide, with tips and tricks, to help you look your best wherever you go. Happy Grooming!
GET TO KNOW YOUR FACE
Are you sensitive, dry, or oily? No, I’m not talking about your personality, it’s all about your face! You have to know what kind of skin you have to properly wash it with the right facial scrub or cleanser. Do not make the mistake of using the same soap for your body as for your face. Those body cleansers may be too harsh, and you must never use bar soap on your face. A lot of us go to a “beauty expert” at a spa or at store-front counters at the mall. I believe it’s best to go to a dermatologist. Let them analyze and check which “type” of skin you have. Use a facial scrub specifically designed for your skin, and make that part of your daily grooming regimen. A properly cleansed face, clear of dead skin also makes it better for a smooth experience while shaving. When you travel, be sure your cleanser is housed in a tube 3 oz. or less. If not, you may buy empty, clear travel containers and pour your cleanser in there to meet FAA travel regulations.
THE EYES HAVE IT
The eyes are the most overlooked body part in men’s grooming habits. They call our eyes the “windows to the soul” for a reason, so don’t neglect them. Eye creams are all the rage in beauty care, and the options for men are now as varied as the options for women. There’s lots of confusing information out there, but just make sure that the treatment you get hydrates your eye area. Moisturizing the area around your eyes daily may not be anti-aging as some products promise, but it is crucial to help minimize puffiness, wrinkles, and dark circles under the eyes. Let’s face it, your eyes reveal more about your health and lifestyle than they do about telling your age. Throw a mini-jar of your eye care in your toiletry bag, especially if you’re traveling where sand, sun, and chlorine may be drying to your skin.
Studies show that just about any shampoo will do when cleansing your hair, so don’t fall for the gimmicks. Looking your best does start at the top. Squeaky clean hair is essential to show off your hair style in its best light so to speak. Now I know most of you who know me personally are scoffing at me because I have a bald head, and some of you may be sporting a bald look yourselves, but even we need proper care up there. Shampoo will clean your scalp of oils and foreign particles in the air that land on your scalp since it is not protected by hair. Just be sure you gently massage a small dab of shampoo onto your head and rinse very thoroughly. Of course, we all should follow up with a conditioner (my bald brothers, be sure it’s a moisturizing conditioner to minimize flakes), but how many times you condition your hair may vary. Some say that hair/scalp should be shampooed and conditioned only two-three times a week to help prevent oilly build-up and dryness to the scalp. Actually, you have to try and see what works best for you, but you may ask your barber or hairstylist to advise you on a time frame. Yes, your hair may be put on a schedule. Hair products work best on properly cleansed hair, so it’s worth your time investment.
GIVE ME BODY
Removing unwanted hair from the body is now very mainstream for men. In fact, we have our very own word for it: manscaping. It’s not just for the chest and back anymore either. Some opt to go totally hairless everywhere from arms, to legs and butts to groins. Some just want to trim and thin out their body hair while other want to be caveman wild. Whatever your pleasure, there’s a product and/or treatment out there for you, just try to stay away from razors, especially around your delicate areas. Glue strips are available for home use now if you can stand the pain. Hair removal lathers work great, but may leave rashes and irritated skin behind, especially if not properly applied. Body grooming clippers may work best for chest, back, legs, and arms, but always use a clip-on guard around your “twig and berries” and you should be fine. Some hotel brands now carry grooming clippers (you may have to ask for them), so that you may manscape when needed. This will save you valuable luggage space so that you can leave your clippers at home. Be sure to check ahead.
H2O FOR THOSE IN THE KNOW
Your skin loves water, you know that. It hydrates and moisturizes, and that’s exactly why it is a large component found in ALL skincare products. We also know that drinking water is crucial for optimum health. Nourishing your body from within should really be the crux of all of our grooming, health, and beauty regimens and routines. The premium bottled water industry may be just as large as the beauty industry, but a bottle of water will cost less than your grooming products. Do away with the plastic bottle and filter your own, just be sure to drink as much water as you can handle then drink some more. Personally, I’m not a big fan of water , but I really see the benefits I receive from drinking lots of H2O. My skin looks so healthy (including my bald head), and my digestion is really aided by all that damn water.
To combat my distaste for the stuff, I filter my own water and add fruit to it. My favorite is a slice of orange, and sometimes a slice of peach will do nicely. You can also try a handful of pomegranate seeds or a few berries like raspberries or blueberries or both. I like to drink my water iced cold, so sometimes I stick the small pieces of fruit right in an ice cube tray along with my filtered water. When frozen, I just pop them out and place them in my glass or water bottle, and I’m good to go. Be sure not to bring water on your flights, but empty water bottles are okay to fill up when you get to your destination. The hotels I frequent throughout the year now setup a complimentary hydration bar for me, usually two iced-cold pitchers of filtered or spring water with mini-bowls of sliced fruit for flavor. You can request this too, just be sure to tip generously.